By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Arraignments of four suspects arrested in the alleged carjacking of a Liberal man’s vehicle at gunpoint in January have been rescheduled for next month.
The arraignments were set for Thursday in Seward County District Court for Juan D. Garza, 26, Jose Gil, both of Garden City, and Bobby Stensland, 19, and Matthew Perez, 27, both of Dodge City, but prosecutor Russell Hasenbank filed an appeal of a preliminary hearing earlier this month.
Hasenbank said Thursday that he would like to have each of the defendants tried separately. Judge Clint Peterson set the arraignments for Aug. 26 in order to review Hasenbank’s appeal.
On July 7, Judge Paula Sosa ruled that the state had proven probable cause on a vehicle burglary charge against Stensland, Gil and Garza, and she ordered them bound over on that charge.
Sosa also bound over all four suspects on charges of aggravated kidnapping, felony theft, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.
The men are allegedly involved in an incident that occurred about 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10, when officers responded to the 200 block of South Virginia in Liberal for a reported carjacking.
The 34-year-old handicapped victim told investigating officers he was at a taco stand in the 400 block of South Kansas Avenue about an hour earlier when two Hispanic males, with bandannas covering their faces, got out of a large black SUV and got into his red 2001 Chevy Blazer.
The men ordered him to drive while they held him at gunpoint. The victim was directed to a field in the 500 block of East Oak where the men pushed him out of the vehicle and drove away. The victim had to crawl back through the field to the roadway to summon help.
The victim’s Blazer was recovered in Finney County on Jan. 11.
The four men were arrested between Jan. 29 and March 1 by authorities in Ford and Finney counties, according to a statement from Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg.
All four suspects are being held in the Seward County Jail. Each of the suspects arrested in this case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.